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Data Conversion Laboratory Completes MARC Records Conversion for Newark Public Library

Fresh Meadows, NY – January 15, 2009: Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. (DCL), providing conversion services and software to publishers, industry, government, libraries and documentation developers, announced the completion of a major conversion of MARC records for Newark Public Library.

Beginning in the 1930’s, the New Jersey Information Center – formerly the New Jersey Room – independently indexed its free-standing picture collection along with pictures depicting New Jersey scenes in magazines and books. This expanded with the 1972 acquisition of the clippings file and photo morgue of the defunct Newark Evening News, some 800,000 prints. The index cards eventually filled 188 drawers occupying an entire wall. Off-site picture requests were filled by sending photos to a lab for negative creation and duplication, The end result was an extreme expenditure of space, time and money.

Newark Public realized that converting the cards to a MARC record electronic format would streamline the search process while saving space. Instead of a relying on a subject index users could search by key word, location and date. A grant was applied for, and subsequently funding became available.

The vendor chosen initially could not guarantee the required accuracy level, then fell behind the specified delivery schedule, imperiling the grant. George Hawley, Supervising Librarian, Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, explained: "When the original firm was unable to adhere to the schedule mandated by our grant specifications we faced a crisis situation. We had to locate a vendor who could handle this large project without missing the deadline. Finding DCL was a Godsend. They were very patient with our complicated situation, and were able to deliver the files promptly and accurately. QA went smoothly and we detected no serious errors. We plan to use them for our next conversion project."

DCL moved quickly. Initial sampling was completed in May 2008, with the project beginning in June and concluding in September, well ahead of deadline. 165,000 index cards were scanned as TIFF images, and fields and sub-fields were keyed and converted to MARC format. Another 38,000 location cards were scanned, but it was unnecessary to convert them to MARC. A third group of "See also" cards was fielded and placed into a Word file. Finally, DCL de-duped the master records to eliminate similar matches in the location field.

About Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc.

Founded in 1981, Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. converts and organizes content to create electronic documents, populate databases and publish on the web, maintaining long – term strategic relationships with its clients preparing for tomorrow’s technology. DCL operates with facilities on four continents, providing support services for high-volume data-entry and data-processing using its real-time web-accessible process control software. DCL converts from any format to any format, and has processed more than a quarter of a billion pages.

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